Young Church Curriculum

Kids in a Young Church Classroom

Children and youth meet with their groups during church  on Sunday mornings (10:30-11:30). The exception is OWL (Our Whole Lives), which meets from 10:15-11:45. All classes are led by a minimum of two adult volunteers. 

Nursery—Our nursery, which is staffed by one of our church teenagers and an additional volunteer, is available for one- and two-year olds.
It is stocked with age-appropriate toys, and the children are guided in free-play. The nursery is located in the lower meeting house.

Preschool—Ritual, stories, crafts, and games introduce our 3- and 4-year olds to our church community.

Kindergarten—The kindergarten class addresses values through the stories of the Berenstain Bears in the fall. In the winter and
spring terms, the class explores our Unitarian Universalist principles through the stories of Dr. Seuss.

Grades 1-8

Fall Term: In the fall, all children in these grades engage in reflection and activity after Young Church worship circle. There is a different theme each fall. Recent themes have included Gather the Spirit: Water in Our World, Stir the Pot: Food in Our World, Welcoming the Stranger: A Spiritual Exploration of Immigration and Identity, Gratitude, and Miracles. 

Spring and Winter Terms:

1st-2nd Grade: Faithful Journeys
Participants embark on a pilgrimage of faith, exploring how Unitarian Universalism translates into life choices and everyday actions. In each session, they hear historic or contemporary examples of Unitarian Universalist faith in action and engage in fun activities to further explore the theme of the day.

3rd Grade: Prayer and World Religions
What does prayer look like in some of the world’s major world religions? The children learn how people of different faiths pray and reflect on how prayer might be meaningful in their own life. Each child makes a prayer bracelet to take home.

4th Grade: Hebrew Scriptures
The children hear classic stories from the Hebrew scriptures, including Genesis, Cain and Abel, Joseph and his brothers, and, over four weeks, the story of Moses. Through art, role-play, and games, they explore the meaning of these stories and reflect on how they apply to their lives today.

5th Grade: The Life and Teachings of Jesus
Children learn about the ministry of Jesus, one of the great prophets of all time. As with the fourth grade curriculum, the children engage in art activities, games, and role-play to understand how Jesus’ teachings have much to say to them today.

6th Grade: Neighboring Faiths
In Neighboring Faiths, children host visitors from other faiths, and subsequently go on field trips to worship with them. Groups in the past have visited a Hindu temple, Islamic mosque, Jewish synagogue, Greek Orthodox church, Buddhist sangha, Friends Meetinghouse, and Christian Science church, among others.

7th Grade: Riddle and Mystery
Children in this group delve deeply into some of life's big questions, such as "Where Did I Come From?", "Why Do Bad Things Happen?" and "What Happens When We Die?" The curriculum utilizes a variety of engaging types of activities to keep participants interested.
 
8th Grade: Our Whole Lives (OWL) is our comprehensive sexuality education program and is offered every other year to 7th and 8th graders. In OWL, participants work with trained facilitators to explore issues of human sexuality, with a heavy emphasis on values and decision-making. Please see our OWL page for more information.
 
Senior High: Youth Group
 In an effort to give teens opportunities for service work, as well as a safe place to ask questions, explore life issues, and socialize, we offer a senior youth group for youth in grades 9-12. It is advised by adult volunteers of the church community, and meets every other Sunday.